Lemon & Vanilla Upside-Down Cake

Lemon & Vanilla Upside-Down Cake

Photography, Tango


Lemon & Vanilla Upside-Down Cake

From its divine fragrance to its lemonicious flavour, our Lemon & Vanilla Upside-Down Cake is an easy crowd-pleasing treat.


Serves 8

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened, divided
  • 3/4 cup lightly packed brown sugar
  • 2 lemons, thinly sliced, seeds removed
  • 11/2  cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs, whites and yolks separated
  • 3/4 cup 2% milk
  • Pinch cream of tartar


In 10-inch cast-iron skillet, melt ¼ cup of the butter with brown sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Simmer, stirring constantly, until sugar is dissolved and mixture is syrupy, about 3 minutes.

Remove skillet from heat and swirl to evenly distribute syrup. Arrange lemon slices side by side in skillet. Set aside.

In bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In large bowl, using electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat remaining butter with granulated sugar until mixture is light and fluffy. Beat in vanilla and egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.

Beat in reserved flour mixture in 2 additions, alternating with milk. Set aside. Preheat oven to 350°F. In separate bowl, using electric mixer with clean beaters on medium-high speed, beat egg whites with cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into batter. Gently scrape batter over lemon slices in skillet; smooth surface with spatula.

Bake until cake tester inserted into centre of cake comes out clean, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes. Run knife along edge of skillet to loosen cake. Place serving plate on top and invert; remove skillet. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving. (Make ahead: can be stored in an airtight container and refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month.)


If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, prepare syrup in a saucepan and pour into the bottom of a greased 10-inch round, square or Bundt pan. Arrange fruit in syrup and pour batter on top.


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Lemon & Vanilla Upside-Down Cake